In a news release Tuesday, German weapons maker Rheinmetall said Germany’s armed forces awarded a multi-year production deal for supply four Route Clearance Systems.
“The order is worth a figure in the lower two-digit million-euro range,” it said in a statement. “Signed in December 2019, the contract is set to run for approximately four years.
The Route Clearance System, or RCSys for short, is a cutting-edge system for detecting mines and improvised explosive devices. It is designed to do a more efficient job of detecting explosive devices in the ground, thus making it safer for convoys, etc., to travel on frequently used routes. In hazardous operations like this, remote control systems offer a major advantage: crewmembers can perform their task from the safety of an armoured vehicle, remaining outside of the danger zone.
Under the contract, Rheinmetall will be turning five Fuchs/Fox 1A8 wheeled armoured transport vehicles into operator team vehicles, and converting four Wiesel/Weasel 1 airmobile weapons carriers into tracked detector platforms. The scope of delivery also encompasses seven reserve dual sensors with transport and storage racks, together with logistical support. The dual sensor, a key component of the Route Clearance System, is a new version purged of obsolescent elements.
It was in 2011 that Rheinmetall first supplied the Bundes¬wehr with seven Route Clearance Systems as part of the Heavy Explosives and Ordnance Demolition Platoon. A complete system consists of five vehicles configured for the following tasks: detection and clearance of landmines and improvised explosive devices, command, and transport.
The remotely controlled Wiesel/Weasel features a newly developed, integrated dual sensor with ground-penetrating radar as well as a metal detector. Its task in the so called DEU Route Clearance System is to detect landmines and IEDs on sections of road as well as in off-road terrain.
Equipped with operator consoles for controlling the vehicles and systems for evaluating the dual sensor signals, the Fuchs/Fox 1A8 armoured transport vehicle serves as a mobile, highly protected command post.
Ordered separately, the ordnance verification vehicle is tasked with remotely controlled inspection of suspicious objects. An integrated video system lets operators onboard the Fuchs/Fox command vehicle monitor the situation on the ground at all times.
The vehicles of the DEU Route Clearance System are transported using Multi FSA trucks made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV).